The Vicariate for Pastoral Formation works with parishes and schools across the Diocese to provide support, formation and opportunities for young people and for those who journey with them, centred in deepening their relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Vicariate integrates and continues the work of the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service (BCYS) and Walsingham House, which have together been a vibrant feature within our Diocese for over thirty years, benefitting many thousands of young people. In 2018 the Vicariate transferred to the more central site of Abbotswick near Brentwood.
Formation is offered in a pastoral context, meaning that Sacramental Catechesis, a deep and rich prayer life, and opportunities for service and outreach to the poorest and those most in need, are all interwoven. The Vicariate works with parish catechists, school chaplains, university chaplains and young people from the point of First Holy Communion through to young adulthood; in the latter years opportunity of service through leadership is highlighted. A thread which runs throughout all the ministry of the Vicariate is that of Vocation; each young person discovering their particular and personal calling from God, which includes a call to marriage, priesthood, religious life or single life. Special projects which also fall within the Vicariate include Diocesan Pilgrimages, which are naturally places of formation in themselves and in the lead up to and follow up from each pilgrimage.
Vicariate Management Committee
The Vicariate Management Committee offers strategic advice and support, to help ensure all areas of the Vicariate are working well together, to offer challenge and accountability, and to set strategic direction for the future. The Committee includes the Vicariate staff, as well as people with expertise in the key areas of the Vicariate. The Committee Members are:
|Episcopal Vicar, Chair||Rev Dominic Howarth|
|School Chaplaincy Co-ordinator||Claire Bailey|
|Vocations Accompanier||Rev Martin Boland|
|Confirmation Catechist||Aine Burke|
|Ordinariate Deacon, School Chaplain||Rev Richard Cerson|
|Vocations Promoter and Catechist||Eamonn Hyde|
|First Holy Communion Catechist||Maura Keown|
|Confirmation Catechist||Sylvia Shepherd|
|Vocations Director||Rev Graham Smith|
|Interim Events Manager||Clare Sullivan|
|Walsingham House Manager||Leighton Walker|
The Vicariate for Pastoral Formation specialisms:
Brentwood Catholic Youth Service (BCYS)
The BCYS offers specific events and opportunities for young people, integrated within the Vicariate for Pastoral Formation. The events are popular, usually over-subscribed, and open to every young person in the Diocese. Particular highlights of the year include the Annual Pilgrimage to Lourdes in the Summer, and work with the HCPT in Lourdes at Easter. In 2016 the BCYS will be leading a Diocesan group to join Pope Francis and three million young people from across the world in Krakow, Poland. On the first Wednesday of each month there is a BCYS-led Mass for young people at 8pm at Brentwood Cathedral. Confirmation and school groups are welcome – please let us know if you are bringing a group. The full range of events and opportunities can be found at www.bcys.net
|BCYS Interim Events Manager||Clare Sullivan|
|Coordinator||Rev Dominic Howarth|
|Team||Rt Rev Hugh Allen|
|Canon Martin O’Connor|
|Rev Daniel Mason|
|Rev Daniel Kelly|
|Rev Mark Swires|
Walsingham House at Abbotswick
Walsingham House at Abbotswick is a fully refurbished retreat house for young people and adults, set in the heart of Brentwood Diocese. We are in a beautiful, tranquil, rural location, five miles from Brentwood and with 14 acres of our own grounds. During school term time a team of volunteers aged 18-23 offer retreats to young people from schools and parishes within Brentwood Diocese, working with over five thousand young people (aged 10-18) every year, both at the House and across the Diocese. In the late summer and early autumn, as well as in quiet periods during the year, adult parish groups use the house. This is most usually for day retreats.
The £500,000 refurbishment of Walsingham House at Abbotswick has just been completed (Jan 2018); in a house which is 100 years old we now have modern en-suite rooms that accommodate three to eight young people in bunk beds, in addition to a large downstairs meeting room and small group rooms.
The move to Abbotswick is a new chapter for Youth Ministry within Brentwood Diocese. Walsingham House (formerly located at Chingford, then Canvey Island) has a thirty year history of providing retreat opportunities for young people. Abbotswick has served as a House of Prayer for the Diocese, also for around thirty years, and this new chapter draws from the heritage of both Walsingham House and Abbotswick. Retreat provision is an integral part of the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service (BCYS), and sits within the Vicariate for Pastoral Formation, which draws together work with School Chaplains, Parish Catechists and University Chaplains. The Vicariate also looks after the emerging Diocese of Brentwood Caritas, which – with a focus on supporting social justice ministry within the Diocese – will offer pathways to young adults who are moving beyond the BCYS. The Vicariate Office is located at Walsingham House at Abbotswick, as the natural hub for our ministry.
|Assistant Manager||Jordan Kelly|
Walsingham House Volunteer Retreat Team
The Walsingham House team live as a community, sharing prayer, meals and social time, and exist to evangelise; to help young people encounter Christ, to understand the Gospel more deeply, and to celebrate their Catholic faith. We do so recognising that young people arrive at the House from many different starting points, and often with many questions, doubts and struggles, as well as with great energy and joy. We hope to offer a warm welcome, a place of reflection, prayer, catechesis, kindness, challenge, and above all time to ever more deeply meet and know Christ as “brother, saviour and friend” (St John Paul II).
Many team members have experienced first-hand a Walsingham House retreat or BCYS event as a young person, and this has often led them to join the team as a young adult. The commitment of giving a year to serve young people throughout the Diocese is a magnificent opportunity, and places on the team attract many applicants. For details of applications for the next year’s volunteer team, please contact the manager.
|Assumption, Maldon & St John Payne School, Chelmsford||Katie Bacon|
|Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School & Christ the Eternal High Priest, Gidea Park||Giorgia Carlucci-Judd|
|St Helen’s Cathedral, Brentwood & New Hall School, Boreham||Molly Conrad|
|Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh-on-Sea, and Westcliff High School for Boys, Southend||Joe Kwasnica|
|St Augustine’s, Springfield & St John Payne School, Chelmsford||Claire Pocock|
|St Cedd’s, Goodmayes & The Palmer Catholic Academy, Seven Kings||Liam Walsh|
|Diocesan Vocations Directors||Rev Graham Smith|
|Rev Dominic Howarth|
|Diocesan Vocations Accompanier||Rev Martin Boland|
|Diocesan Vocations Promoter||Eamonn Hyde|
Brentwood Vocations exists to support every person in discovering their unique vocation – who God is calling you to be, what God is calling you to do. There are lots of resources on the website to help in discerning vocation, and there are also regular Vocations discernment evenings and talks. As Vocations Promoter working within the Vicariate for Pastoral Formation, Eamonn regularly visits Diocesan schools, and there will soon be a Vocations session for Confirmation and First Holy Communion Programmes, available during 2016.
If you feel called to Diocesan Priesthood, you are warmly encouraged to speak to your parish priest, school or university chaplain, and then to call Fr Graham or Fr Martin.
Please pray for our students to the Diocesan Priesthood:
|Pontifical Beda College, Rome||Rick Fernandez|
|St Mary’s College, Oscott||David Pearce|
|The Venerable English College, Rome||Gary Dench|
|St Mary’s College, Oscott||Paschal Uche|
|St Mary’s College, Oscott||Michael Barwick|
Please pray for those discerning vocation:
You call us by name
with the words first spoken
on the shore of Lake Galilee,
Breathe deep within us
the gifts of your Holy Spirit;
Help us to have
the wisdom to hear your call,
the courage to answer it,
and the faith to live it.
So that the Gospel is preached,
the poor are served with love,
the suffering are comforted,
the lost are found and welcomed,
and all are strengthened
by the grace and joy of the Sacraments.
In our parish community,
our family, our home, our school,
in our Diocese of Brentwood,
especially inspire those who
you are calling today to the
priesthood and religious life
to say, “Yes, Lord. Here I am. Send me.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord
Additionally, the work of the Vicariate includes:
|Diocesan Director||Rev John Harvey, BA(Div), JCL, MCL, KHS|
SVP St John Bosco Children’s Camp
|Chaplains||Rev Mark Swires|
Almost all of our Catholic secondary schools employ a Lay Chaplain to assist in preparation of school liturgies and Masses, as well as preparing resources for assemblies and the liturgical seasons. They also arrange retreats for students, often at Walsingham House, and accompany them there. The school chaplains meet once a term, and these gatherings and other resource provision are co-ordinated by Claire Bailey, Chaplain at the Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, who can be contacted through the school or the Vicariate Office. This provision is arranged jointly with the Vicariate for Education.
|University of Essex||Rev Mark Swires|
|Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford||Br Pius Collins|
|East London||Br John Francis|
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Diocesan Pilgrimage: 14th – 19th August 2016
(to include the Feast of the Assumption)
|Pilgrimage Director||Rev Paul Keane|
|Administrative Director||Mrs Cathy O'Connor|
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham
Diocesan Pilgrimage: Saturday 28th May 2016
|Walsingham Pilgrimage Secretary|
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Bradwell
Ecumenical Pilgrimage: Saturday 2nd July 2016
|Pilgrimage Organiser||Rev David H Prior|